Welcome to our lesson about Spanish verbs of becoming.
Verbs of becoming are those which express a change or transformation.
In this lesson, we will study the most important verbs of becoming in Spanish, noting their small differences.
Verbs of Becoming
The most frequent verbs of becoming in Spanish are:
For the rest of the lesson, we will study the exact meaning and use of each verb, providing example sentences.
Note: These Verbs are all Reflexive
All verbs of becoming in the list above are reflexive. That means every time we use them in a sentence, we need to place the proper reflexive pronoun in the right spot. Click here to review Spanish Reflexive Verbs and Pronouns.
Characteristics of “ponerse”:
- Refers to a change that is rather quick.
El semáforo se pone verde.
The traffic light turns green.
Nos hemos puesto enfermos a la vez.
We have got sick at the same time.
Me puse colorado.
I blushed. (I became red)
Me puse como un tomate.
I blushed bright red (I became like a tomato)
Characteristics of “volverse”:
- Refers to a slower, gradual change.
Londres se ha vuelto muy cara.
London has become very expensive.
Antes era optimista, pero con el tiempo me he vuelto pesimista.
I used to be optimistic, but with time I have become pessimistic.
Max se volvió un gato muy juguetón.
Max became a very playful cat.
Characteristics of “hacerse”:
- Refers to a personal change that tends to be about money, profession, religion or ideology.
- Almost always introduces an adjective or the name of a profession
Nos hemos hecho ricos.
We have got rich.
Felipe se ha hecho policía.
Felipe has become a policeman.
Mi amigo se hizo budista.
My friend became buddhist.
Ellos se hicieron anarquistas.
They became anarchists.
Characteristics of “quedarse”:
- It can mean “to end up”, “to be left…” or something similar.
- Points to the result of some process or event, with potentially lasting consequences.
Me quedé solo.
I ended up alone.
Te quedaste calvo.
You went / ended up bald.
María se ha quedado embarazada.
María has got pregnant.
Pablo se quedó con cara de tonto.
Pablo was left looking stupid.
Convertirse en – Transformarse en
Characteristics of these two verbs:
- They refer to a total change or transformation, and sometimes entails a change in form or even in nature.
- They introduce a noun.
El agua se convierte en hielo.
The water turns into ice.
La leyenda dice que él se convirtió en piedra.
The legend says that he turned into stone.
La madera se transformó en oro macizo.
The wood transformed into solid gold.